The BUAV and European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) campaign to ensure that a planned 2013 ban on the sale of animal tested cosmetics in Europe is not delayed.
On 11th March 2009, all animal testing of cosmetics in the EU stopped thanks largely to two decades of campaigning by the BUAV and ECEAE. However, a next phase 2013 'marketing' ban that will ensure no animal tested cosmetics are sold in the EU is in jeopardy as the European Commission considers whether to delay it, potentially by a number of years.
This marketing ban allows three types of animal tests to be carried out outside the EU for cosmetics sold within the EU until March 2013. The reason is to allow non-animal alternative tests to be developed and approved ('validated'). The BUAV is campaign for implementation of the ban and has presented evidence that alternatives for the three outstanding tests already exist or are in development.
The BUAV has undertaken a number of hard-hitting investigations which have exposed the brutality and cruelty inflicted on monkeys during their capture, confinement, caging, transportation and eventual death in the laboratory.
Its broad-reaching primate campaigns tackles all stages of primate research, from the initial capture and/or breeding of monkeys through to their transportation (see http://www.buav.org/cargocruelty) for the research industry to their eventual use in laboratories around the world.
The BUAV is campaigning for an end of the use of animals in tests for household products and has secured a government pledge to ban the practice. It is currently working to get that ban enforced.
The organisation also runs the Leaping Bunny certification programme – working with companies to remove animal testing from their product supply chains. Approved brands can carry the Leaping Bunny mark identifying them as ‘cruelty free’. For more information go to http://www.gocrueltyfree.org
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) sets out the ways the public can get access to information held by the Government. This includes information held by the Home Office, Universities and other bodies about animal experimentation.
There are a number of exemptions for the FOIA including one that says if another law bans information from being given out, then the FOIA doesn’t apply to that.
Unfortunately, this applies to animal experiments. Because Section 24 of the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 stops the Home Office giving out information about experiment licences which researchers want to keep secret, we can’t use the FOIA to get this information.
The BUAV doesn’t think this is fair. We don’t want to know researchers names or addresses or anything that is genuinely confidential. However, we do think the public has a right to know what is being done to animals in experiments and why and campaign to gain access to specific information about animal tests being conducted in the UK.
12 million animals are used annually in experiments in Europe. Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used in experiments was revised in September 2010 after nearly two years of negotiations between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. It also follows a period of intense campaigning by the BUAV and our colleagues in the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.
The BUAV and other Coalition members are currently working to ensure that the transposition of the Directive into national legislation improves existing conditions for animals and does not result in a levelling down where national legislation is stronger than that proposed in the Directive.
REACH is the new European chemical testing regime. Set up in June 2007, it stands for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals. Its purpose is to establish whether an estimated 30,000 chemicals on the market are safe for humans and the environment, and to control the use of those judged to present a risk. Animal testing will be used to establish the safety of these chemicals.
Chemical companies now have up until 2018 to prove to the European Chemicals Agency that the chemicals they are manufacturing or importing is safe to use. The experiments used to assess the safety of chemicals are called toxicity tests, which traditionally involve the poisoning of guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and mice. It is estimated that up to 13 million of animals will be poisoned and killed.
The BUAV is working to save as many animals as we can, looking at each testing proposal in turn and presenting alternatives - in the form of non-animal testing methods or sourcing existing data where chemicals have already been tested.
The BUAV encourages its supporters to get involved and take action on its campaigns.
Using the BUAV’s online tools supporters can:
• Lobby their MPs on key animal testing issues (http://www.buav.org/lobby-your-mp)
• Send emails and sign petitions across a variety of active campaigns via its take action page (http://www.buav.org/take-action)
• Sign up for campaign updates by email (http://www.buav.org/take-action/signup/)